Lollywood (Urdu: لالی وڈ) refers to the Pakistani film industry based in the city of Lahore. The word "Lollywood" was first coined in the summer of 1989 in the now defunct magazine "Glamour" published from Karachi by a gossip columnist Saleem Nasir. The film industry in Lahore started in 1929 with the opening of the United Players' Studios on Ravi Road. The cornerstone for the studio was set by Abdur Rashid Kardar. Since then the studio has managed various indigenous productions competing with other film production centres in the undivided India, namely Bombay and Calcutta.

Most of the feature films shot in Pakistan are in National Language Urdu. Urdu (spoken elements of Hindi and Urdu are exactly the same) is often used in feature films of Bollywood and may also be included in films in local languages like, Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi or Sindhi.

The Pakistani film industry is credited with having produced some of the most notable and recognised filmmakers, actors, writers and directors, and for introducing pop music to South Asia.[1]



Birth of cinema (1896–1910)

Cinema was introduced to India on 7 July 1896, when the Lumiere brothers' Cinématographe showed six short silent films at Watson's Hotel in Bombay.[2] A few years later in 1898, Hiralal Sen started filming scenes of theatre productions in Calcutta,[3] inspired by English professor Stephenson who had brought to India the country's first bioscope.[4] Harischandra Sakharam Bhatavdekar imported a camera from London at a price of 21 guineas and filmed the first Indian documentary, a wrestling match in Hanging Gardens, Bombay, in 1897.[5] He also filmed the first Indian news film, a record of Ragunath P. Paranjpe's return from Cambridge University upon securing a distinction in mathematics. Bhatavdekar is however best known for filming the Viceroy of India Lord Curzon's Delhi Durbar that marked the enthronement of Edward VII in 1903.[5]

It was then that the commercial potential of the Indian cinema was realised. With F.B. Thanewala's Grand Kinetoscope Newsreels and Jamshedji Framji Madan's Madan Theatres Limited, India became counted amongst the largest distributors of American films after World War I.[6] Madan also hired foreign directors Eugenio De Liguoro and Camille Legrand to provide his productions with expertise, grand sets for popular mythological storylines and special effects[7] which ensured good returns. Cinema houses were built in major cities in India. Newsreels of the Boer Wars were a regular show at make-shift theatres in Bombay.[8] Tents were placed in vast spaces or maidans to accommodate a larger audience, giving birth to the term maidan cinema.[9]

French film company Pathé opened an Indian office in 1907, the first foreign film production company in the country.[10] In the same year, a purpose-built cinema theatre was constructed.[11]

Silent era (1910–1930)

Raja Harishchandra, the first full-length silent feature film, released in 1913, had men playing roles for women.

With interests developing in film on the Indian soils saw support from various foreign production establishments in later years. 1910s saw the release of the first feature film at 1,500-feet of film made in India, a narrative named Pundalik, by N.G. Chitre and Ram Chandra Gopal Torne. Later, Raja Harishchandra would be considered the first full-length Indian feature film[12] at 3,700-feet of film. The latter was released, without sound or music,[12] in May 1913 by Dhundiraj Govind Phalke who was supposedly inspired by the screening of The Life of Christ[13] at P.B. Mehta's American-Indian Cinema.[14] Phalke wanted to hire female actors but couldn't find any and instead resorted to using men dressed as women.[12] He would later produce India's most successful mythological films. Prompted by the success of American films in India, Universal Pictures set up Hollywood's first Indian agency in 1916.[15]

Year 1918 saw the introduction of the Indian Cinematograph Act modelled on that of Britain defining issues like censorship and cinema licensing,[15] and with the establishment of Phalke's Hindustan Film Company, the first Indian serial, Patankar's Ram Vanvas, with a length of 20,000 feet is created.[15]

In the same year, the first South Indian feature, Rangaswamy Nataraja Mudaliar's Keechaka Vadham, is released followed by the film Draupadi Vastrapaharanam, featuring Anglo-Indian actress Marian Hill playing the role of Draupadi.[16] Following these successes, film operations started out in Lahore, now in Pakistan. At the time, the first silent film, The Daughters of Today, was released in 1924 in Lahore, the city had nine operational cinema houses.[12] Movies shown at these cinemas were mostly local productions from Bombay and Calcutta, and seldom from Hollywood and London.[12]

The Daughters of Today was a brainchild of G.K. Mehta, a former officer with the North-Western Railways who, much like Bhatavdekar, had imported a camera into the country. Mehta continued to produce newsreel coverage for companies abroad and delved into further film projects but his dedication gave way when he promptly left the film industry for more profitable ventures.[12] But it was to be later in 1929–1930, when Abdur Rashid Kardar's Husn Ka Daku[17] was released that the film industry was established in essence in Lahore's Bhati Gate locality. This would later be called Lollywood, a portmanteau of Lahore and Hollywood.[12] Kardar, a professional calligraphist, was accompanied by his fellow-artist and friend Muhammad Ismail, who would make the posters for his films.

Indigenous productions at Bhati Gate (1930s–1946)

Although Kardar had worked with G.K. Mehta on The Daughters of Today, he felt he needed to do more to stay in the industry after there was no work left for him to do once the production had been done. Along with Ismail, he sold all his belongings to set up a studio and a production company under the name United Players Corporation in 1928.[12] Set up at Ravi Road what is now the Timber Market, the duo hired actors to work with them on their projects. Shooting was mainly done in daylight and limited their productivity but the area they encompassed was enriched with locations including important landmarks.[12]

While the duo established their operations, director Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara, aka The Light of the World released in 1931. The film would become the first Indian sound film.

The duo modelled their films on American and English films with influences not just prevalent in actors' attires but the titles of the films and expressed a desire to seek all means necessary to make a sound film of their own. Actors that had worked for the studio included Hiralal, Gul Hameed, Nazeer, Pran Sikhand, Kaushalya Devi, Gulzaar, Mumtaaz and Ahmed Deen. Husn Ka Daku, also known as Mysterious Eagle, Kardar's directorial début would firmly add him into the directors guild[12] but the film that would make him further known in the film industry came later in 1932. Produced by Hakim Ram Prasad, Heer Ranjha was the first sound film produced in Lahore at the United Players’ studio.[18] Prasad provided the studio with the equipment necessary to direct the sound film marked as the last film directed by Kardar in Lahore , starring M. Ismail while launching the careers of Rafiq Ghaznavi, Nazeer and Anwari. Kardar later moved to Calcutta and then to Bombay where he continued filmmaking.

Till date, Bhati Gate is known to have produced some of most notable actors, writers and artists[19] but with tensions running swift towards partition of the land, most of the actors travelled into areas which are now a part of modern India. The industry left would later be termed as Lollywood.

Partition, brain drain and recovery (1947–1958)

Ahmed Rushdi

Immediately following the partition, the newly founded Pakistan faced a brain drain where all its highly talented and skilled workers migrated to India, including most actors and directors. Shortage of filming equipment further paralysed the nation's film industry.

With much hardships faced, the new film industry was able to produce its first feature film, Teri Yaad[20] on 7 August,[21] 1948,[22] premièring at the Parbhat Theatre in Lahore.[21] The following year, Evernew Studios established a studio in the country which would later become the largest film company of the time. Over the next few years, films that were released reached mediocre success until the release of Do Ansoo on 7 April 1950. Do Ansoo became the first film to attain a 25-week viewing making it the first film to reach silver jubilee status.

Recovery was evident with Noor Jehan's directorial debut Chanwey releasing on 29 April 1951. The film became the first film to be directed by a female director. Syed Faqir ahmad Shah produced his first production 1952 The "Jagga Daku" Saqlain Rizvi was the Director, the film could not get much appreciation due to violence shown in it. As cinema viewership increased, Sassi released on 3 June 1954 reached golden jubilee status staying on screens for 50-weeks. Legendary playback singer Ahmed Rushdi started his career in April 1955 after singing his first song in Pakistan "Bander Road Se Kemari".Umar Marvi released on 12 March 1956 became the first ever Pakistani film made in the Sindhi language. To celebrate the success of these endeavours, f ilm journalist Ilyas Rashidi launched an annual awarding event on July 17, 1958.[23] Named Nigar Awards, the event is since then considered Pakistan's premier awarding event celebrating outstanding performance in various categories of filmmaking.[24]

Golden age under President Ayub Khan (1959–1969)

Waheed Murad and Zeba in Heera aur pathar, 1964

The '60s decade is often cited as being the golden age of cinema in Pakistan. Many A-stars were introduced in this period in time and became legends on the silver screen. As black-and-white became obsolete, Pakistan saw the introduction of first colour films. Some that share the status of being firsts are Munshi Dil's Azra in early 1960s, Zahir Raihan's Sangam (first full-length coloured film) released on 23 April 1964, and Mala (first coloured cinemascope film).

Although it seemed that the industry had stabilised to a certain extent, the relations between the two neighbouring countries were not. On 26 May 1961, Kay Productions released a film titled Bombay Wallah, which did not came under scrutiny from the censor board for having a name that represented a city in India in the wake of the growing tension between the region. Later, the censor board was blamed for irresponsibility.[25] It was the first time that a Pakistani film explored the realms of politics, but it would not be the last. In 1962, film Shaheed aka Martyr, pronounced the Palestine issue on the silver screen and became an instant hit. With the changing tide in the attitude of filmmakers, actress Mussarat Nazir who had reigned the industry for a while left for Canada and settled with her family. Her much anticipated film Bahadur was left unfinished and never released giving alternative films like Syed Kamal's debutant acting role in film Tauba to be admired and fill the void.

In September 1965, following an armed conflict between India and Pakistan, all Indian films were taken off the screen from cinemas in Pakistan and a complete ban was imposed on the Indian films. The ban existed since 1952 in West Pakistan and since 1962 in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh),[26] but was exercised rigorously after the conflict. Pakistani cinemas did not suffer much from the decision to remove the films and instead received better viewership for their films. Realising the potential, Waheed Murad stepped into the industry. His persona led people to call him the chocolate hero and in essence, he became the Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley of Pakistan.[27]

In 1966, film Armaan was released and became one of the most cherished accomplishments of the industry.[25] The film is said to have given birth to Pakistani pop music introducing playback singing legends – composer Sohail Rana and singer Ahmed Rushdi. The film became the first to complete 75-weeks screenings at cinema houses throughout the country attaining a platinum jubilee.[25] Another rising star Nazeer Beg with th stage-name Nadeem received instant success with his debut film Chakori in 1967. The same year, he would act in another film of a different genre altogether. Horror films were introduced with the release of Zinda Laash aka The Living Corpse making it the first film to display an R rating tag on its posters.[28]

Meanwhile Eastern Films Magazine, a tabloid edited by Said Haroon, became the most popular magazine for film buffs in Pakistan. The magazine had a questions and answers section titled "Yours Impishly" which the sub-editor Asif Noorani took inspiration for from I. S. Johar's page in India's Filmfare magazine.[25] Tabloid like these got their first controversial covers with the release of Neela Parbat on 3 January 1969, which became Pakistan's first feature-film with an adults-only tag.[27] The film ran for only three-to-four days at the box office.[29]

More controversial yet would be the offering of distribution rights in the Middle East to the Palestinian guerrilla organisation, Al Fatah by the writer, producer, and director Riaz Shahid for his film Zarqa released on 17 October 1969.[30] The film depicted the activities of the organisation.

Age of the VCR (1970–1977)

Following the Bangladesh Separation, Pakistani film industry lost its Dacca wing and number of cinema decreased rapidly. This caused brain drain. Veterans like Runa Laila departed for Bangladesh and the Pakistani industry was at the brink of disaster yet again.

Amidst concerns of a collapse, the film Dosti, released on 7 February 1971, turned out to be the first indigenous Urdu film to complete 101 weeks of success at the box office[31] dubbing it the first recipient of a diamond jubilee,[31] however it is reported that the first diamond jubilee status was celebrated by the Punjabi film Yakke Wali in 1957.[32]

As political uncertainty took charge of the entertainment industry, filmmakers were asked to consider socio-political impacts of their films as evident by the fact that the makers of Tehzeeb, released on 20 November 1971, were asked to change the lyrics with a reference to ‘Misr’, Urdu for Egypt, that might prove detrimental to diplomatic relations of Eygypt and Pakistan.[33] So vulnerable was the film industry to the changing political landscape that in 1976, an angry mob set fire to cinema in Quetta just before the release of the first Balochi film, Hamalo Mah Gunj, which was to be filmed in the same cinema.

The mid-1970s saw the introduction of video cassette recorders in Pakistan and instantly films from all over the world were copied onto tape, and attendance at cinemas decreased when people preferred to watch films in the comfort of their homes. This ushered the birth of the film piracy industry films began to be copied on tapes on the day they premiered in cinemas.

Javed Jabbar's Beyond the Last Mountain, released on 2 December 1976, was Pakistan’s first venture into English film-making. The film's Urdu version Musafir did not do well at the box-office. While the industry was revolutionising, Pakistan's government was in a state of turmoil. Aina, released on 18 March 1977, marked a distinct symbolic break between the so called liberal Zulfikar Ali Bhutto years and the increasingly conservative cum revolutionary Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq regime.[34] The film stayed in cinemas for over 400 weeks at the box office,[34] with its last screening at 'Scala' in Karachi where it ran for more than four years. It is considered the most popular film in the country's history to date.[34]

President Zia-ul-Haq's Islamisation, Gandasa culture and the downfall (1979–1987)

Following Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's military coup, he began to Islamicise the country and one of the very first victims of this socio-political change included the film industry.[35] Imposition of new registration laws for film producers requiring filmmakers to be degree holders, where not many were, led to a steep decline in the workings of the industry. The government forcibly closed most of the cinemas in Lahore.[36] New tax rates were introduced, further decreasing cinema attendances.

Films dropped from a total output of 98 films in 1979, of which 42 were in Urdu, to only 58 films (26 in Urdu) in 1980.[citation needed] The filmmakers that remained employed flaccid storylines to present Punjabi cult classics like Maula Jatt in 1979, telling the story of a gandasa-carrying protagonist waging a blood-feud with a local gangster. Growing censorship policies against displays of affection, rather than violence, came as a blow to the industry[37] and as a result violence-ridden Punjabi films prevailed and overshadowed the Urdu cinema.[37] The middle class neglected the 'increasingly dilapidated and rowdy cinemas'.[37] This film sub-culture came to be known as the ‘gandasa culture’ in the local industry.

Where veterans of this culture Sultan Rahi and Anjuman, became iconic figure in the Punjabi films, Pashto cinema took on a contrasting façade. Backed by powerful politicians, Pashto filmmakers were able to get around the censor policies and filled their films with soft-core pornography to increase viewership.[37] This threw away the romantic and loveable image of Pakistani cinema and less people were attracted to the prospect of going to a cinema. Being a female actor associated with film productions became an understandable taboo.[citation needed] Nevertheless influx of refugees from across the Afghani border, who were denied the entertainment in their country, kept the industry strongly active.[38]

When it seemed the industry could not be further deteriorated, following years saw yet another blow to the fatal collapse. Waheed Murad, oft termed the chocolate hero[39] died in 1983 due to alcohol abuse and stomach cancer, some however say he committed suicide.[40] Media attributes the film star's death to his disheartened view in the wake of Pakistani cinema's collapse.[39] Director of his unfinished film Hero, employed cheat shots[37] to complete the last of this legend's memorable films to a packed audience. This enthusiasm soon disappeared and not even Pakistan's first science fiction film Shaani in 1987,[41] directed by Saeed Rizvi employing elaborate special effects could save the industry from failing. The sci-fi film received an award at the Moscow Film Festival [42] and even in Egypt and Korea,[42] but sadly was shelved in its country of origin.[42]

Collapse (1988–2002)

At the starts of the 1990s, Pakistan's film industry was gripped with certain doom. Of the several studios only 11 were operational in the '70s and '80s producing around 100 films annually.[43] This number would lower further as studio went towards producing short-plays and television commercials[36] and let the industry astray in the wake of cable television.[43] By the early '90s, the annual output dropped to around 40 films, all produced by a single studio.[43] Other productions would be independent of any studio usually financed by the filmmakers themselves.

The local industry succeeded to gain audience attention however in the mid- and late-1990s. With Syed Noor's Jeeva and Samina Peerzada's Inteha, it seemed the cinema of Pakistan was headed towards a much needed revival but naught attendance recorded at the box-office for later ventures ushered a complete and utter collapse of the industry. Notable productions of the time include Deewane Tere Pyar Ke, Mujhe Chand Chahiye, Sangam, Tere Pyar Mein, and Ghar Kab Aao Gay, which tried hard to get away from the formulaic and violent storylines but were not accepted fully amongst the lower middle class cinema audience.

Controversy raged over the filming of Jinnah in the late 1990s, a film produced by Akbar Salahuddin Ahmed and directed by Jamil Dehlavi. Objections were raised over the choice of actor Christopher Lee as the protagonist[44] depicting Muhammad Ali Jinnah and inclusion of Indian Shashi Kapoor as archangel Gabriel[45] in the cast combined with the experimental nature of the script.[45] Imran Aslam, editor of The News International, said the author wrote the script in a ‘haze of hashish’.[45] Of all the controversies and hearsay, the film proved a point that Indian and Pakistani filmmakers and actors can collaborate together on any such cinematic ventures without the ban being lifted. Later years would see more actors travels traveling in and across the border on further cross-border ventures.

Late '80s had seen the death of Murad and towards 1989, Anjuman got married to Mobeen Malik, quitting from playback signing and finally Sultan Rahi was murdered in 1996 as well as the actress Nadira in 1995. The already reeling industry lost viewership not just for its Urdu but Punjabi films following Rahi's death. Director Sangeeta attended to her family life and Nazrul Islam died during the time. The industry was pronounced dead by the start of the new millennium. Syed Noor depressed at the sudden decline of cinema gathered investors for what was considered the only Pakistani film to have survived this chaos.

The year 1998 saw the release of Noor's Choorian, a Punjabi film that grossed 180 million rupees.[46] Directors realised there was still hope and Javed Sheikh's Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa[47] released in 2002 grossing over 200 million rupees (US $3.4 million) across Pakistan. The monetary prospects were then realised fully and for the first time in twelve years, investors starting taking keen interest in Pakistani films.

However, the short period of successes in the industry could not keep the cinemas afloat, and the same industry that at one time produced more than a 100 films annually a decade ago was now reduced to merely 32 per year, in the year 2003,[citation needed] with only one partial success called Larki Panjaban (A Punjabi Girl).[48] In August, 2007, a new film titled Khuda Ke Liye was released. It became popular due to its controversial theme of the current problems faced in Pakistan. It was also released internationally, including in India, where it became the first Pakistani film released after four decades [49]

Revival under President Musharraf (2003–2009)

In early 2003, young filmmakers took on a stance to demonstrate that high quality content could be produced by the local film industry using the limited resources available.[50] Cinema was declining in all major cities of the nation and a need for revival was echoed in the media. With privatisation of television stations in full swing, a new channel Filmazia was broadcast, primarily to broadcast films and productions made indigenously in the country. It was during this time that Mahesh Bhatt, a celebrated Indian director visited Pakistan looking for talent, particularly singers who could lend their voices to his upcoming films in India. His visit to Pakistan was to attend the third Kara Film Festival, for the screenings of his film Paap in Karachi.[51] Bhatt would later hire Atif Aslam for the soundtrack of his film Zeher and Pakistani actress Meera to play a lead-role in one of his films.

Later in 2005, industry officials realised that the government needed to lift the ban for the screening of Bollywood films in Pakistan. The issue was voiced by the Film Producers Association (FPA) and the Cinema Owners Association (CAO) of Pakistan after the release of the colourised remastering of the 1960 classic Mughal-e-Azam.[52] When the government turned down the request,[52] Geo Films, a subsidiary of Geo TV took on itself to invest in upcoming Pakistani directorial ventures and dubbed their efforts “Revival of Pakistani Cinema” and on 20 July 2007 released Shoaib Mansoor's cinematic directorial début Khuda Ke Liye (In The Name of God). The film would later become the first ever Pakistani film since the imposition of the ban in 1965 to be released simultaneously in India and Pakistan. With its general release in India, the four decade ban was finally lifted. The film was released in more than a 100 cinemas in 20 cities in India.[53]

Unbeknown to the local media scene, a Pakistani horror and gore film was already doing rounds in International film festivals.[54][55] Another directorial début by director Omar Ali Khan, Zibahkhana aka Hell's Ground premièred at festivals throughout the world gaining repute as the ‘first extreme-horror gore flick’ and received accolade wherever it screened. The film ushered a revival in the horror genre for Pakistani films. The film would also be the first Pakistani film shot on HD. Where the horror genre seems to have been reincarnated in the industry, Freedom Sound, a science fiction film would use the computer-generated special effects for the first time since 1989's Shaani. The recent successes of issue-centered Pakistani films such has Khuda Ke Liye prompted director Mehreen Jabbar to come forth with her instalment with the release of Ramchand Pakistani which will mark the first true efforts of international collaboration towards the revival of cinema in Pakistan.

Future (2009-present)

Despite some optimism of a solid revival at the turn of the millennium, progress continues to be slow.

Next up are filmstar Reema Khan's directorial project based on Paulo Coehlo's Veronica Decides to Die, filmstar Shan's directorial project " Chup" introducing model Juggun Kazim to the silver screen, Syed Noor's " Price of Honor" based reportedly on the Mukhtara Mai Rape incident,Syed Noor and his wife Saima are also working on a comedy "Wohti le ke Jani Hai" after the recorded breaking success of 'Majajan'. Khamaj fame Music Video director Safdar Malik's Directorial debut "Ajnabi Sheher mein" starring Nadeem, Samina Peerzada, Ali Zafar and Model Tooba Malik, Shehzad Gul's "Iman" starring Shan and Nirma, Actor Humayun Saeed debut production BALAA with the support of Vishesh Films(Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt) to be directed by Script writer of Indian films 'Woh Lamhe' and 'Raaz the mystery continues' Shagufta Rafique(talks are on with Indian actress Tabu for the title role and Iman Ali and Juggan Kazim in Pakistan), Salman Peerzada's "Zargul" a major festival circuit success might also finally see mainstream release. Shoaib Mansoor is to bring his second film 'Bol' with stars Atif Aslam, Mahira Khan and Juggan Kazim. Also Syed Faisal Bokhari's 'Bhai Log',Shehzad Rafique's second film 'Mene Jeena Tere Naal' with Veena Malik and Adnan Khan. Tv Producer Ejaz Bajwa's film directorial debut "Channa Sachi Muchi" starring Babar Ali, Momi Rana and Saima. Indo-Pak-American co production "Virsa" starring Arya Babbar from India and Mehreen Raheal from Pakistan will be releasing in Pakistan and India both after its world premier at the Dallas International Film Festival (the director, Pankaj Batra is Indian). Iqbal Kashmiri's second film 'Devdas' remake of Indian film, Devdas, and bengali novel, starring Zara Sheikh, Meera and Nadeem Shah. Son of Pakistan based on terrorism in Pakistan. Written, directed and produced by Jarar Rizvi. The film features Shamyl Khan, Sana Nawaz and Meera in lead roles. Aamir Zafar, an filmmaking student, debut as director with film Victim which features Humayun Saeed and Irtiza Ruhab in lead roles. Syed Faisal Bukhari's second film "Saltanat" featuring Lollywood debut Mona Laizza who also does an item number, Javed Sheikh and Ahsan Khan. Shaan Shahid's second film, script by Mashal Peezada featuring Vaneeza Ahmed and Natasha.

Decline of cinema theatres

Since 1995, the government of Pakistan has kept a close eye on the decrease of cinema halls and theatres in the country. Below is a chronological index of cinemas in Pakistan from 1995 to 2002.[56] The country boasted 750 cinema theatres in 1990 (even more before then), but that number had declined to 175 by 2002.[56] The remaining cinemas are reported to be in very poor condition, and in desperate need of attention.[56] Numbers below do not include cinemas in Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas.

Province/Division/District 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Khyber Pakthunkhwa
Peshawar District 17 17 17 17 17 15 16 15
Mardan District 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Kohat District 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2
Dera Ismail Khan District 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Bannu District 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3
Hazara District 6 6 5 5 5 7 6 6
Mansehra District 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
Malakand District 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2
Quetta District 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8
Zhob District 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Sibi District 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 2
Kalat District 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1
Makran District 4 4 4 4 2 3 3 3
Nasirabad District 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0
Lahore District 67 65 65 65 62 62 56 56
Sialkot District 25 22 16 13 10 10 10 09
Faisalabad District 42 42 38 38 37 38 38 34
Jhang District 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4
Rawalpindi District 25 25 26 26 23 21 20 18
Multan District 56 56 53 50 50 47 46 39
Gujranwala District 61 61 60 59 58 64 66 69
Sargodha District 17 17 16 15 15 15 14 12
Bahawalpur District 30 30 31 30 29 29 27 27
Dera Ghazi Khan District 18 18 19 19 19 12 10 11
Karachi District 57 57 57 57 53 46 45 43
Hyderabad District 35 35 27 27 23 22 19 13
Sukkur District 27 27 24 20 17 18 10 9
Larkana District 21 21 11 11 9 6 6 5
Mirpur Khas District 25 25 22 22 22 22 22 19
Islamabad Capital Territory
Islamabad District 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2

Pakistan's First Cineplex

As a city, Karachi began to grow at a fast pace in the late 60's, and the price of the property shot up significantly.[citation needed] At the peak of Pakistani cinema industry in the mid 1970s, Karachi alone had more than 100 cinema halls and more than 200 films were produced and released each year. Now, fewer than ten of these houses remain. The same happened a little later in Lahore as well. This caused the film industry to lose a lot of revenue, making the industry even less attractive for investment. Many professional financiers left the cinema industry of Pakistan.[citation needed]

The Universal Multiplex in Karachi opened in 2002. The future viability of film-making business in Pakistan is evidenced by the fact that now many global companies are interested in investing in the theater business in the country[citation needed]. Cinepax is the first dedicated cineplex company in Pakistan. They are building the country’s first nationally branded cineplex chain.[57] The firm says that it is dedicated to introduce a world-class, film-going experience to the people of Pakistan by building state of the art film theaters in the urban areas. Cinepax will have multiple cinemas in each location and is committed to screening premium content in a family-friendly environment. Eventually, they intend to bring families back into the theaters by providing a quality experience, and assert that the multiplex culture can only help.[58]

Cinepax is targeting the larger cities of Pakistan: Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, and Hyderabad. Cinepax’s has an initial five-year build-out plan for the development of 120 screens.[58]

Cinepax screens Hollywood films within a month of their international release dates. Cinepax will also screen the best of international and Pakistani cinema. Before the first cineplex opening, Cineplex’s sister distribution company will screen Hollywood content in the existing cinemas around Pakistan.[59]

Films industry in Pakistan

  • Lahore Film Industry

Notable figures in the industry

Pakistani actors and actresses

Famous playback singers

See also

External links

News articles (web based)


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